Press/Journalists
Press Release
June 4, 2002
National Archives Celebrates Fourth of July at Union Station

Media Contact: National Archives Public Affairs
Phone: (301) 837-1700

Washington, DC. . . The National Archives will celebrate the 226th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on Thursday, July 4, 2002 at Union Station with free fun family activities, patriotic music, and a special display of the 1823 copper plate engraving of the Declaration of Independence. The ceremony will feature ABC-7 news anchor Maureen Bunyan, and WUSA 9 News reporter and anchor Gurvir Dhindsa.

This year's celebration is being held at Union Station while the National Archives Rotunda is temporarily closed for renovation and the "Charters of Freedom" are not on public display. The theme for the day-long celebration is "Declaring Our Freedom - Preserving Our Freedom." The ceremony and family activities are free and open to the public and will take place in the Main and West Hall in Union Station, located at 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.

The day's events are as follows:

  • 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.:
    • View the rarely displayed 1823 copper plate engraving made from the original Declaration of Independence by printer William J. Stone. The image from the Stone engraving is the most frequently reproduced version of the original because it was made before the Declaration suffered irreversible damage from fading in the 19th century.
    • Get a sneak preview of the National Archives Experience- a new world-class exhibition space and learning center to be opened in 2004.
    • Sign the Declaration of Independence online at www.archives.gov and in person.

  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m.:
    • Time Travelers John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and a Revolutionary War soldier, members of the nationally-acclaimed acting troupe of the American Historical Theatre, will mingle with the crowd and recount their contribution to the founding of America.

  • 10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.:
    • National Archives conservators will answer questions about preserving your important family papers and photographs.

  • 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.:
    • The Capital Children's Museum will cosponsor "The Pursuit of Happiness Wall," where children can contribute original drawings of their personal vision of happiness.

  • 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.:
    • Demonstrations of the art and craft of the Intaglio "Spider" Hand Press-a 19th century printing press, presented by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

  • Main Ceremony 2 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.:
    • Presentation of Colors performed by the Armed Forces Color Guard.
    • Video presentation entitled, "Declaring Our Freedom" featuring archival footage culled from the extensive holdings of the National Archives.
    • Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by ABC-7 news anchor Maureen Bunyan, WUSA 9 News reporter and anchor Gurvir Dhindsa, and the Time Travelers.

  • Music:
    • 10:45 a.m.-noon: Folk singer Lea Coryell will give visitors a taste of traditional Americana in song.
    • 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.: Doug Bowles and the SingCo Rhythm Orchestra will perform 30s and 40s swing music with a patriotic flair.

We express grateful appreciation to our sponsors:

The Foundation for the National Archives

Logo - Metro Opens Doors
Logo - Union Pacific - Building America
Logo - Union Station - Washington DC

      Take the Union Station stop on the Red Line or Metrobus routes 96, D8, and X8. On weekends and holidays, park FREE at Metro-operated lots. To plan your trip, visit The RideGuide at www.metroopensdoors.com or call 202-637-7000 (TTY 202-638-3780).

      Metro and Union Station invite you to show your SmarTrip Card, Metro farecard, or Metrobus transfer at the Union Station Information Desk to receive a 15% off coupon in select Union Station stores and restaurants. Available 7/4-7/7.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail. Visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at http://www.archives.gov.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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